Aug 1, 2017

8451464407_6269153b4d_o.jpg(August 1, 2017)… The Rochester Knighthawks announced today that the team has re-signed Paul Dawson to a two-year deal. The rugged defenseman enters his sixth season with the Knighthawks in 2018. 

“Pauly is a big factor for us,” said Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen. “His presence on the floor keeps guys honest. He is also a role player and a leader who keeps the ship going in the right direction.”

The Oakville, Ontario native has played 11 seasons in the National Lacrosse League, making stops in San Jose, Boston and Philadelphia. Originally selected as a goaltender by the San Jose Stealth with the seventh overall pick in the 2006 NLL Entry Draft, Dawson made a smooth transition to defense in 2008. Now one of the most feared defenders in the league, he has logged time in 163 games and notched 66 points, 404 penalty minutes and 531 loose balls.

“Paul is the ultimate team player,” said his brother and Knighthawks forward Dan Dawson. “He does whatever is asked of him, from soaking shots to sticking up for teammates to scoring in transition. He doesn't get the credit he deserves. Paul prepares for the game the right way and will help our young players develop.”

DawsonFamily.jpgPaul and his brother arrived in Rochester in a blockbuster six-player, two draft pick deal with Philadelphia on Dec. 14, 2012. In their first two seasons in the teal and purple, the Dawsons won back-to-back Champion’s Cups. 

“I was fortunate to come into a situation like that,” said Paul. “Now I am on the other side, missing the playoffs. It’s time to get back to where we once were.”

Last season, the 6-5, 225-pound defenseman was one of the standouts on a defense that allowed the third least amount of goals. Dawson also reached two milestones in 2017, collecting his 500th career loose ball on Feb. 15, and appearing in his 150th game as a pro on Feb. 3. He even shot up the charts to take over ninth place on the team’s all-time penalty minute list with 184. 

The hard-working Dawson also has a place in NLL history, holding one of the longest games played streaks in league history. From Jan. 31, 2008 until April 25, 2015, he appeared in 128 consecutive games. His durability and reliability earned him a spot on Team Canada at the 2015 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championship, where he won a gold medal.

“Paul keeps everyone honest. Play hard and you're good; cross the line and it won't last long,” said fellow Rochester defenseman Ian Llord. “He gives everyone a little more space. His defense has improved enough to land him on Team Canada, that speaks for itself.”

In his Knighthawks career, Dawson has scooped up 272 loose balls and provided some offense, posting 23 points in 82 games. The 31-year-old looks forward to spending the next two seasons in Rochester.

“It’s been the longest place I have ever played. I like the way the organization treats guys,” he said. “I love the passion the fans have for the team and that it’s a blue-collar city.”

Dawson hopes to find success in Rochester once again, which is the biggest reason he re-signed with the team. With three more impact players coming in the first round of the 2017 NLL Entry Draft and Cody Jamieson and Josh Currier expected to be back on offense, Dawson believes this could be the Knighthawks’ year.

“I think we are putting some pieces in place and I wanted to be a part of that. I am super excited,” he said. “With everyone being healthy and coming back, I think we have a shot at making a run at this thing.”

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